Six series of note concluded: “Family Ties” on NBC and Cybill Shepherd/Bruce Willis detective dramedy “Moonlighting” on ABC, both in 1989; ABC sitcom “Coach” in 1997; NBC’s “Seinfeld” in 1998; WB drama “Dawson’s Creek” in 2003; and the NBC political drama “The West Wing” in 2006. For more on “Moonlighting,” click here…Herve Villechaize exited ABC’s “Fantasy Island” after season six in 1983. In the final season, he was replaced with a more sedate butler type named Lawrence, played by “Mr. Belvedere’s” Christopher Hewitt…Remember Judy (Jaime Forworth), the middle child of the Winslow’s on ABC comedy “Family Matters”? She disappeared without a trace at the end of season four in 1993 and was never referred to again. Also departing as a series regular on “Family Matters” was Telma Hopkins as Harriette’s (Jo Marie Payton) sister Rachel…Donna Mills, Cindy Williams, Michael Ontkean and Louise Fletcher were featured in CBS television movie “The Stepford Husbands” in 1996. It was the sequel to 1975 theatrical “The Stepford Wives”…The legendary Frank Sinatra passed away in 1998 at age 82.
Celebrity Birthdays: Director George Lucas (“Star Wars”) is 77; actress Meg Foster (“Cagney & Lacey”) is 72; actor Tim Roth (“Lie To Me”) is 59; Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is 51; director Sophia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”); is 49; actress Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia”) is 37; Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is 36; “iCarly” star Miranda Cosgrove is 27
-Did You Know?:
The producers originally wanted Matthew Broderick to play Alex P. Keaton (instead of Michael J. Fox) on “Family Ties,” but the actor had to decline the role when his father, James Broderick, became terminally ill. James Broderick, of course, played Meredith Baxter’s father on ABC drama“Family” (which aired from 1976 to 1980)…There was talk of a revival of “Coach” with Craig T. Nelson on ABC a few years ago, but it never moved forward.
NEW PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS
HGTV Orders Self-Shot Series “Design at Your Door”
Netflix has greenlit “Design at Your Door,” a self-shot series that will follow families from all walks of life, including first responders and other essential front line workers, as they receive coaching and a customized design plan that they can quickly make a reality. Boxes of surprises, delivered to the homeowner’s doorstep, could include anything from paint and pillows to wallpaper, headboards and sofas.
Participating HGTV experts in the series include: David Bromstad (“My Lottery Dream Home”), Tiffany Brooks (“HGTV Smart Home 2020”), Tamara Day (“Bargain Mansions”), Dave and Jenny Marrs (“Fixer to Fabulous”), Maureen McCormick (“A Very Brady Renovation”), Grace Mitchell (“One of a Kind”), Eve Plumb (“A Very Brady Renovation”), Orlando Soria (“Build Me Up”) and Alison Victoria (“Windy City Rehab”). While documenting their design process every step of the way, the homeowners will complete such projects as converting a forgotten storage area into a playroom and upgrading a bonus space into a home office and media room.
“Design at Your Door” premieres on HGTV with back-to-back episodes on Thursday, June 11 from 9-10 p.m. ET.
FX and BBC American to Adapt Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”
“Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight will write a six-part adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel “Great Expectations” for the FX and BBC, with Ridley Scott and Tom Hardy on board as executive producers. Previously, Knight adapted three-part series “A Christmas Carol” for the two outlets.
Knight will write and executive produce “Great Expectations,” which will also be executive produced by Scott, Hardy, Dean Baker, David W. Zucker, Kate Crowe and Mona Qureshi for the BBC, who are the same team behind “A Christmas Carol.” “Great Expectations” will be produced by FX Productions in association with the BBC, Scott’s production banner Scott Free and Hardy’s production outfit Hardy Son & Baker.
Netflix and Sky Team for True Crime Documentary “A Killer Uncaged”
Netflix and recently launched UK cablenet Sky Crime are co-producing a three-part true crime documentary called “A Killer Uncaged.” Shot on location in Texas and produced over a three-year period, “A Killer Uncaged” follows Dale Wayne Sigler, who was sentenced to death for murder 30 years ago. Now, after spending more than half his life behind bars, Sigler is off death row and about to be released back into a world he hardly recognizes.
“A Killer Uncaged” will premiere on Sky Crime on June 28 and will also launch as a limited series on Netflix under the title “I Am a Killer: Released.” The series is a co-production between Sky Crime, Netflix and Znak & Co, with Danny Tipping, Ned Parker and Natalka Znak exec producing. Itamar Klasmer will direct.
RENEWALS AND CANCELLATIONS
NBC Renews “A Little Late with Lilly Singh for Season 2
NBC has greenlit “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” for a second season. Premiering in September as a replacement for “Last Call with Carson Daly,” the first season was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for the episode entitled “Lilly Is Struggling to Date Women.
Singh is also an actor, writer and content creator. Her past television credits include “Fahrenheit 451,” while her film credits include “Bad Moms” and “Ice Age: Collision Course.” She is also the author of “How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life.””A Little Late with Lilly Singh” is produced by Universal Television and Singh’s Unicorn Island Productions.
TV AND DIGITAL UPDATES
AMC Networks Purchases the Rights to the Works of Anne Rice
AMC Networks has entered into an agreement to acquire Anne Rice’s major literary works, “The Vampire Chronicles” Series and “The Lives of the Mayfair Witches Series,” which totals 18 titles and has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. Included is “Interview With The Vampire,” “The Vampire Lestat,” “The Queen of the Damned,” and “The Witching Hour.” Anne Rice and son Christopher Rice will serve as executive producers on all series and films.
Rolin Jones (Perry Mason, Friday Night Lights), who recently signed an overall development deal with AMC Studios, will be directly involved in developing projects based on the Anne Rice catalog for television.
PIPodcast with Douglas Pucci and Scott Nolte
Discussion about current and upcoming shows in early May 2020: “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix), “Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill” (Netflix), “Becoming” (Netflix), “The Eddy” (Netflix), “Dead to Me” season 2 (Netflix), “Celebrity Watch Party” (Fox), “Disney Family Singalong: Volume II” (ABC) and “Feeding America Comedy Special” (NBC). To listen, click here
2020 NFL Regular Season Weekly TV Schedule on Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network
The National Football League (NFL) announced on Thursday, May 7 its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2020, which (tentatively) runs from September 10, 2020 through January 3, 2021. For a look, click here
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Lifetime will premiere unscripted special “Once Upon a Quarantine” on Wednesday, May 20 at 9 p.m. ET. Featuring four couples who have been self-filming since the crisis hit, the hour offers an intimate “fly on the wall” look at how these couples are facing major life milestones – from pregnancies and changes in birth plans to quarantine weddings and border barriers separating fiancés – all while living life under lockdown.
Animated PBS Kids series “Hero Elementary” will debut on Monday, June 1. The logline: “Hero Elementary” is a school for budding superheroes, where kids learn to master their innate powers, like flying and teleportation, while exploring science along the way. The launching series will give children ages 4 to 7 important tools to help them solve problems by encouraging them to think and act like scientists, igniting their natural curiosity. The series also showcases character and social-emotional concepts such as kindness, empathy, and commitment to working together to solve problems.
The filmed version of the Broadway production of musical “Hamilton” will be available for streaming on Disney+ on Friday, July 3. Producers for “Hamilton,” the film of the original Broadway production, include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeffrey Seller, and Thomas Kail, who also directs. The logline: The film is a leap forward in the art of “live capture” which transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. Combining the best elements of live theater, film, and streaming, the result is a cinematic stage performance that is a wholly new way to experience “Hamilton.”
“Room 104” returns for its fourth and final season Friday, July 24 at 11 p.m. ET on HBO. Created by Mark and Jay Duplass (HBO’s “Animals.” and “Togetherness”), the late-night, half-hour anthology series returns with 12 new episodes, each telling a unique and unexpected tale of the characters who pass through a single room of a typical American chain motel. While the setting stays the same, every episode of the series features a different story, with the tone, plot, characters, and even the time period, changing with each installment.